Phone Support After Traffic Accidents Reduces Problems, Improves Quality of Life
During the two-year study, researchers from Umea University in Sweden followed up 568 car occupants, cyclists and pedestrians who had attended the same emergency department after an accident.
They found that patients in the telephone support group were 35 percent less likely to complain of pain and discomfort than patients in the control group and that this rose to 40 percent when it came to car occupants. Patients who received support also reported fewer problems with anxiety, depression, everyday tasks and mobility.
The patients, who were between 18 and 70, were randomly assigned to the intervention group (288 people) or the control group (280). People with mental health problems or dementia were specifically excluded. 510 people completed the six-month study –- 147 were car drivers, 178 were cyclists and 185 were pedestrians.
All the patients were asked to fill in the same quality of life questionnaire two weeks and six months after their accident.
Patients in the intervention group also received a follow-up call after three weeks. These ranged from an average of 12 minutes in the 38 percent of patients who didn't need advice and 24 minutes in the 62 percent of patients who did ask for advice.
The study finds that women were more than twice as likely to seek advice as men (69 percent versus 31 percent).
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